Suggested Reading & Resources

The world’s economic system is increasingly an urban one, with overlapping networks of communications, production, and trade. This system, with its flows of information, energy, capital, commerce, and people, provides the backbone for national development.


Students interested in the Sustainable Urban Planning Program often ask for suggested readings related to the program and field more generally. The following is a list of important works - some of them are foundational and scientific, but many were written for a popular, nontechnical audience.  You will encounter many of these in the program:

  • Acemoglu D, Robinson JA (2012) Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty. New York, NY: Crown Business.
  • Alinsky SD (1971) Rules For Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. New York, NY: Vintage.
  • Banerjee AV, Duflo E (2011) Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty. New York, NY: Public Affairs.
  • Batty M (2013) The New Science of Cities. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
  • Beatkey T (2011) Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature into Urban Design and Planning. Washington, DC: Island Press.
  • Brueckner JK (2011) Lectures on Urban Economics. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
  • Boarnet MG, Crane R (2001) Travel by Design: The Influence of Urban Form on Travel. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Calthorp P (2013) Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change. Washington, DC: Island Press.
  • Diamond J (2005) Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. New York, NY: Penguin.
  • Cassidy J (2010) How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities. New York, NY: Picador.
  • Fischel WA (2015) Zoning Rules! The Economics of Land Use Regulation. Cambridge, MA: The Lincoln Institute.
  • Glaeser EL (2011) Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier. New York, NY: Penguin.
  • Groot HLF, Maret G, Teulings C, Vermeulen (2015) Cities and the Urban Land Premium. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.
  • Harford T (2005) The Undercover Economist. New York, NY: Random House.
  • IPCC (2014) Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Isard W (1956) Location and Space Economy: A General Theory Relating to Industrial Location, Market Areas, Land Use, Trade, and Urban Structure.  Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
  • Kahn ME (2010) Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter Future. New York, NY: Basic Books.
  • Kolbert E (2009) Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Press.
  • Lynch K (1981) Good City Form. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
  • Moretti E (2012) The New Geography of Jobs. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  • Pierce NR, Johnson CW (2008) Century of the City: No Time to Loose. New York, NY: The Rockefeller Foundation.
  • WCED (1987) Our Common Future. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.